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The purpose of this initiative is to provide information and support to kinship caregivers. The initiative also serves as an information and referral service for available resources.

Who are Kinship Caregivers?
If you are raising the child of a relative or a friend, you are a kinship caregiver.

Two examples might include:

  • Grandparents raising grandchildren
  • Adults raising a sibling’s son

Reasons for Kinship Care

  • Family crisis
  • Poverty
  • Unemployment
  • Divorce
  • Death
  • Mental health problems
  • Family violence
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Abandonment
  • Incarceration

Issues Facing Kinship Caregivers

  • Economic difficulties
  • Social isolation
  • Legal issues
  • Lack of information/access to community resources
  • Housing difficulties
  • Health problems
  • Stress and depression
  • Help with schoolwork
  • Children’s behavior problems
  • Children with special needs
  • Lack of respite/child care resources
  • Time management/organizational skills

How Can the Kinship Care Project Help?

  • Build a county-wide network of kinship care support.
  • Provide information on available services at the state and local levels.
  • Provide information about how to access those services.
  • Educate caregivers about available financial assistance.
  • Direct caregivers to sources of help on legal issues.
  • Dispel isolation by organizing fun family outings for the group to share.
  • Provide programs, fact sheets and public displays on kinship care, building family strengths and importance of intergenerational communications.
  • Facilitate monthly information, group support meetings. Day and evening groups are offered with speakers from the community. Childcare is available for evening groups. Time is always provided for refreshments and making new friends.

For More Information

Erie County Kinship Care Initiative
Lynn Clint, Better Kid Care Coordinator
Penn State Extension – Erie County
850 East Gore Road
Erie, PA 16509
Phone: 814-825-0900
Website: erie.extension.psu.edu
Email: lbc10@psu.edu